Dick and Carolyn Otterness are missionaries representing the Reformed Church in America who are living in Budapest, Hungary, helping address the needs of the Roma people, who are more commonly known as gypsies.
Roma are the largest ethnic minority in Central and Eastern Europe, with a population of 10 million to 12 million. They are among the poorest people on earth, with high rates of illiteracy and, in some regions, near-universal unemployment.
The Otternesses are serving as mentors for volunteer workers of several nationalities who minister with Roma in Hungary and Hungarian-speaking areas of neighboring countries. They are helping Roma develop their own congregations, establish relationships with existing congregations, get health care, go to school, find work or start their own businesses.
The Otternesses are partnering with the Hungarian Reformed Church, which was founded in 1567 during the Protestant Reformation and today is one of the largest Reformed communions in the world. Church leaders are trying to establish a new identity after decades under Communist rule.
For more information, go to www.otternessromamission.com